Dueling polls: Final NH polls put Hillary up 11 ... or 1

Two competing polls in New Hampshire paint very different pictures of the election with just hours left before the vote. A new poll from WMUR and their University of New Hampshire partners shows Hillary Clinton opening up a yuuuuuuge lead over Donald Trump of eleven points, up four from their previous iteration a week earlier:

Over the final weekend of the 2016 campaign, 48% of likely New Hampshire voters say they will vote for Hillary Clinton, 38% will vote for Donald Trump, 6% will vote for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson, 1% will vote for Green Party candidate Jill Stein, 2% will vote for another candidate, and 7% are undecided.

When undecided voters are asked which way they are leaning, the results become 49% for Clinton, 38% for Trump, 6% for Johnson, 1% for Stein, 2% for someone else, and 4% undecided. When undecided voters are allocated to the candidate they are most likely to vote for, the final prediction is 51% for Clinton, 40% for Trump, 6% for Johnson, 1% for Stein and 2% for other candidates.

Clinton is doing better among core Democratic voters (95%‐1%) than Trump is doing among core Republican voters (86%‐3%). Swing voters are evenly divided (35% for Trump, 35% for Clinton and 14% for Gary Johnson). Clinton leads by 25 points among women (59%‐34%) while Trump only leads men 43% to 38%. Trump continues to lead among those with a high school degree or less (52%‐36%) while Clinton has a large lead among those who have completed postgraduate work (65%‐22%). Those who have completed technical school or some college (42%‐39% Clinton) and college graduates (49%‐42% Clinton) are divided.

WMUR/UNH also shows a five-point lead for Maggie Hassan over Kelly Ayotte:

This race has been very close for more than a year and looks to remain close heading into Election Day. Currently, 48% will vote for Maggie Hassan, 43% would vote for Kelly Ayotte, 1% would vote for someone else, and 8% are undecided.   After including undecided voters who have indicated the candidate to whom they are leaning toward, the percentages become 49% for Hassan, 45% for Ayotte, 1% for someone else, and 4% remain undecided.   When undecided voters are allocated to the candidate they are most likely to vote for, the final prediction is 52% for Hassan, 47% for Ayotte, and 1% for other candidates.

But hold the phone. A new Emerson poll shows the race tightening over the same period, going from a Hillary +3 to a one-point edge:

Two of four polls Emerson published today are leaning toward Clinton, both by a single point and well within the margin of error. In Nevada, Clinton is ahead 47% to 46%. In New Hampshire, her lead is 45% to 44%. The other two surveys show Trump leading, but with more breathing room. He has a 6-point advantage in Missouri, 47% to 41%, and a 7-point edge in Ohio, 46% to 39%.

Emerson also sees a different race in the Senate:

New Hampshire’s Kelly Ayotte has seen a 6-point lead over Democrat Maggie Hassan cut to 3 points (49% to 46%). There are virtually no undecided voters remaining, although 5% of respondents plan to vote for “someone else.”

There are reasons to discount both polls, if one looks hard enough, but it really comes down to preference. Emerson is landline only using nothing but IVR (automated) calls, but they’ve also been pretty close to the mean in New Hampshire over the course of the general election. UNH surveys both cellphones and landlines with live people rather than automated systems, but practically every result they’ve produced in this cycle has put Hillary up by double digits, except for a seven-point advantage two weeks ago. It looks like a series of outliers.

FiveThirtyEight uses both polls to give Hillary a 69.2% chance of winning the Granite State, but also uses both to give a slight edge to Ayotte in the Senate race. That race looks much less volatile, and Republicans still have a chance to prevail in it. Whether that’s true in the presidential race is anyone’s guess after these two final looks at New Hampshire.